Announcing Firstbase's $2M Seed Round and $13M Series A from A16Z and Alpaca Ventures

April 29, 2021

Announcing Firstbase's $2M Seed Round and $13M Series A from A16Z and Alpaca Ventures

Today is an important day for Firstbase and all of us personally.

We are announcing a $2M Series Seed led by David Goldberg at Alpaca and a $13M Series A led by David Ulevitch at A16Z.

Joining A16Z and Alpaca, are Mike Cardamone and James Murphy (Acceleprise), Karen Page (GP at BCapital Group), Beth Turner (General Partner at SV Angel), Johnny Boufarhat (CEO at Hopin), Mac Reddin (CEO at Commsor), Austin Rief (CEO at Morning Brew), Rob Biederman (Chairman at Catalant), Ryan Simonetti (CEO at Convene), Alana Anderson (GP at BaseCase Capital), Andreas Klinger (GP at Remote First Capital), Adrian Aoun (CEO at Forward Health), Lucy Guo (CEO at Backend Capital), James Watt (CEO at BrewDog), Henry Armistead (VP at Southstreet Partners), Lorimer Ventures, Peggy Mangot (Partner PayPal Ventures), Drew Tunney (CTO at Voro), and Cyan Bannister (GP at Long Journey Ventures).

We couldn’t wish for a better team to have on board as we accelerate into scaling our all-in-one remote worker provisioning platform.

Firstbase lets companies set up, manage, maintain and retrieve all the equipment remote workers need to do great work remotely at the touch of a button. By establishing the infrastructure to set up, support, and scale a remote workforce globally, we empower new ways of working to emerge. For workers, we help deliver a quality of life upgrade an entire generation has been waiting for. Longer-term, we are building a physical world AWS.

Firstbase’s Founding Story

I missed my daughter walking, laughing, and talking for the first time.

Remote work, for me, was a bridge to a higher quality of life. Becoming a Dad who was able to be there for his daughter while she grew up. More time with the people I care about most. Greater opportunity to do the things that make me happiest. All while continuing to do great, meaningful work.

Me and my co-founder, Trey Bastian, founded a FinTech startup initially. It had to be remote because of the above and also it was the only way we knew we could find, attract and retain great talent. I’m from a small city in Scotland, we knew we couldn’t have a physical location that expected people to relocate here.

As we started out as a remote team we immediately began encountering challenges. Our passion to provide a great culture and experience to our growing team proved to be incredibly difficult. We discovered how time-consuming, expensive and difficult it was to ensure everyone was set up with the right tools and equipment to do their job at home. Things wouldn’t turn up, assets would break, and it proved almost impossible to get things back if people left. Frustrated, we put our heads together to solve this.

Firstbase emerged as an internal product to make this easier for ourselves. We couldn’t do this at 5 people, how could we handle it at 50, 500, or even more?

It turned out we had a unique combination of pain and experience to solve this problem. As an operations manager, I had been responsible for outfitting oil rigs in the most remote locations on the planet. As a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Airforce, Trey managed the deployment, support, and training of mission-critical cybersecurity systems and technical infrastructure in the most challenging environments globally.  Applying what we knew, the challenge of getting the same equipment into people's homes proved to be one we could solve incredibly well.

Having failed to initially appreciate how big a problem this was for other companies with remote workers, we got back to building the FinTech company. Eventually, we went to our friends building remote teams and shared what we had created.

Their reactions were instant: this is a massive problem we are facing as well.

That was confirmation of a problem but our initial assumption was that this was just a startup issue. Early-stage companies are resource and capital-constrained, they obviously had to be struggling with this because startups struggle with everything.

Fortunately, we were also talking to some of the biggest banks in the world about our FinTech product. When we went to them and they told us the same thing, we knew there was a massive opportunity.

We pivoted to work on Firstbase full-time in September 2019.

By March 1st 2020 we had 600 companies, with 2.7M employees, signed up to learn more about Firstbase. Last week, we crossed 11,000 companies with 20M+ employees. The capital we have raised enables us to accelerate, build product faster, convert and onboard these companies more quickly.

Where We Are Today

Since December we have grown rapidly. We‘re already working with a large number of companies — ranging from early-stage startups almost everyone knows, a global media brand whose show 20M people tune in to each year, through to several larger startups worth $Billions of Dollars — while serving thousands of workers globally. As I write this, we’re going through legal documents with a Public company worth $30B+, and have several others at similar stages.

This is just the start.

Every company must develop a strategy that ensures their people are as safe, comfortable, and productive working remotely as they are in an office. At Firstbase, we help them do that instantly.

All the while, remote work continues to evolve. The biggest, most important, and most exciting companies on the planet continue to announce intentions to be either hybrid or fully remote going forward.

There are nearly 255 million desk jobs globally and an estimated 90% of these workers have expressed a desire to work remotely at least part-time going forward. Hybrid and flexible WFH policies will be the new norm, providing an HR benefit for employees and improving businesses’ operating costs. Estimates predict that if U.S. workers split their time 50/50 between the office and home, organizations could save nearly $1 trillion on IT management costs and offset real estate costs by 50–90%, depending on the frequency workers are expected to attend in person.

That is the massive challenge and opportunity laid out in front of us, one that we are incredibly excited to tackle and Firstbase is ready to solve.

Our mission, to improve individuals’ quality of life by enabling remote work, is a big one. My hope is that more people have the opportunity to work around living escaping the current model where we are forced to live around work. Access to opportunity will be democratized as where you live no longer determines the job you can. What should emerge are the most accessible, diverse, and inclusive companies in history. Everyone in the remote work space must contribute to ensuring that happens.

Last and most importantly, we couldn’t do any of this without the incredible team who have helped us get here. All incredibly hardworking, talented, and warm-hearted people that make and will continue to make Firstbase special.

Adam, Aliya, Bharath, Chris, Clare, Hugo, Jay, and Kevin, thank you for your hard work. You’ve made it possible to get this far.

The new capital will fuel our rapid growth plans through product development, increased customer deployment, and hiring. We are looking for awesome people to fill a huge number of roles — all remote — right now.

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